Amy Riolo: My mussels and tomato saffron broth prove that eating restaurant quality food can be easy and inexpensive at home.
To start, heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Then, add a quarter teaspoon of saffron, half teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds, a minced garlic clove, one quarter teaspoon of fresh orange zest, one teaspoon of fresh thyme, one teaspoon of fresh oregano and cook this for two to three minutes.
Saffron is the world's most expensive spice. It's highly fragrant and adds a beautiful golden hue to recipes. Just a pinch is all you need to bring a dish to life. Next, stir in three and half ounces of canned diced tomatoes, a half teaspoon of tomato paste, a cup of seafood stock, one quarter teaspoon of fresh sea salt and some freshly ground pepper to taste and bring that to boil over high heat.
Once you have brought it to a boil, reduce the heat to low and then add in a quarter pound of fresh mussels that have been scrubbed and had their beards removed. Cover it and cook for seven to ten minutes until the mussels are open completely.
Lastly, be sure to discard any mussels that are unopened. Be sure to taste your soup and adjust the salt and pepper as necessary. Once you have got it to your liking, ladle into individual cups or bowls and sprinkle the tops with some fresh chopped parsley.
So, here we have our mussels and tomatoes saffron broth, an elegant dish that's easy enough to serve anytime.